When a white woman called the police on a black family for simply setting up a charcoal grill and enjoying the same park as her, the local community banded together to host a massive cookout at the same park just two weeks later. The event beautifully depicted the intracommunity bond that is shared by the Oakland, California residents.
Footage recorded by Michelle Snider, a local resident, showed an unidentified white woman in the park announcing to a black family that she had called the police because “it is illegal to have a charcoal grill in the park here.”
The woman berates the family for an hour and a half before accusing them of harassing her.
According to Snider, her husband, Kenzie Smith, heard the woman say “oh, another n****r” upon his arrival to the scene.
Smith told KRON-TV that he and a friend were setting up for a weekend cookout. The gathering was a tradition they had for decades with their families.
“She said that we were trespassing, we were not welcome, and then she turned back around and said, ‘Y’all going to jail,’ ” he told the news station.
While the response to the viral video was overwhelmingly negative towards the white woman, the people of Oakland joined together to send a positive message. Attendees of a large cookout in the same park posted videos of the event.
“How Black Oakland responds to a white lady calling the cops on Black folks BBQing,” a Twitter user wrote, adding a video that showed people enjoying the space, eating, and dancing in the public area.
How Black Oakland responds to a white lady calling the cops on Black folks BBQing… pic.twitter.com/kRdJpnmXQ2
— Brotha B (@BlakeDontCrack) May 11, 2018
An official map of the area revealed that there are six designated barbeque locations. Three are stationary charcoal locations and another three are non-charcoal portable grill locations.
Snider was charcoal grilling in a non-charcoal grilling location.
Oakland City Councilmember Lynette Gibson McElhaney stressed that there are alternative options for residents to undertake in response to these kinds of a situation instead of calling the police.
“I think it is really incumbent on all of us that when we call police, it is for emergency purposes,” McElhaney said. “I want to encourage people to know when to call the police, when to raise a question of regulations with the City Council, maybe there is a passive way to reach out to us.”
The incident itself is not extraordinary. Last week, a young black man was reported to police in Warsaw, North Carolina. The responding officer ended up choking and slamming the man in the parking lot of a Waffle House.
Last month, a woman was arrested at a Waffle House in Alabama. During her arrest, her breasts were exposed.
A video of the white woman harassing the barbequing family can be watched below:
H/T: The Hill